Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
The adjective I could often use for my spiritual life is numb. Such a description doesn’t conjure up images of spiritual heroics, but there is a certain noble ring to it.
A weary warrior halts and crouches; in a daze, he scans the charred battlefield. Numb. A grief-stricken woman battles deep loss in the caverns of her soul. Numb. We are often numb because we have fought well. We are weary. Tired. Numb. And that actually sounds pretty valiant.
Unfortunately, however, at times what I really feel is nothing so gallant as numbness. I face a much darker reality. I am bored with God.
You have been there – you want to pursue the Almighty, but all you can manage is a yawn. You take a walk to pray, and the slightest distraction pulls you from the Throne. You plan to use the quiet of your commute to commune with God; and within seconds, everything within you wants to flip on the radio. You don’t care if all you can pick up is static – you just need the noise. You can’t stand the quiet. It’s boring. Bored with God.
Lord Byron seemed to think boredom an inevitable element of proper society: “Society is now one polish’d horde, formed of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.” So, is that how it is? Boredom is inevitable? Just accept it? Bury it, and play the game, pretending spiritual life runs deep so others won’t notice the coldness swallowing your heart?
Boredom may prove inevitable, but it isn’t God’s design. Jesus said He can live with His followers being hot or cold, but the mucky middle of lukewarm is where the stench brews. Boredom is a polite term for the stench of being unmoved by the grandeur of God.
Boredom reveals something deeper: our hearts have been captured by something other than God. The proper response is not to do more, work harder or make more commitments. These aren’t responses of the heart. The result of endless activity for God is boredom – He has become small, replaced by a focus on our efforts.
We need to reconnect with the romancing God whose story ignites our imagination. We must allow time and space to simply be creatures of our God, listening to His story afresh, sitting at His feet anew and quieting our hearts in His presence. In time, a fresh awakening will yield. And as we struggle to find words to describe this awakening boredom won’t even be considered.
God of Wonder, allow me to be quiet and see You afresh. Capture my heart in a brand new way.